When you think about it, we’ve actually seen a few of these types of games this year, where we barely win but still win big. It’s always a huge achievement to win with an extremely small lead, although ideally you want to have every part of the team firing on all cylinders. Lately we seem to go to extremes, where we show that we can win these close games and win the wide-open games but seem to spend less time winning with just your average final score. Anyway, a win is a win, and when you see one of our starters get the job done, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should, it certainly is a significant comfort.
And that’s exactly what Buchholz did last night. He got the job done, and in a big way, too. He was masterful. He was the Buchholz you were hoping to see all season long. He was the Buchholz who threw a no-hitter remarkably early in his career.
Buchholz gave up one run on four hits over seven innings while walking three and striking out one. He threw 105 pitches. The highlights were his fastball, changeup, and his splitter; his curveball and cutter weren’t that great. But he rolled out the whole arsenal, which is good, and he really mixed it up well. Unfortunately, because that one run tied the game, he was not in line for the win. The Rangers scored in the sixth, when he gave up a double, advanced the runner on a wild pitch, and then allowed a groundout that brought it in.
We were having the same luck at the plate that the Rangers were having. We scored our first run in the fourth; Ross led it off with a walk and scored two outs later on a double by Shoppach. We scored our second and final run in the top of the ninth; after two quick outs, Nava and Salty worked back-to-back walks, and Nava scored on a single by Aviles that just barely fell in there.
Padilla pitched the eighth and got the win, and Aceves pitched the ninth and got the save. The final score was 2-1, and it was a nailbiter if I’ve ever seen one. I was sure we were going to extras the way the game was playing out.